I mentioned a while ago a trip to Donegal (a northern county in Ireland) and that I’d share a few photos with you guys. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get my act together, but finally I have some green to share with you. I promise I’ll limit the lamb photos to as few as I can, they were just so cute.
Since moving to Ireland and working full-time, I haven’t really gotten to travel around the country as much as I used to when I was studying here. I know it’s just an excuse, but most of the time by the time Friday rolls around I’m exhausted and just want to hang out around the house. Thankfully anytime I have visitors I’m prompted to go someplace new (thanks Jess & Eric for coming and discovering Kinsale!) and every time we get to some place new around the country, I am hit with how pretty this country is. Considering I don’t plan on being in Ireland for too much longer, I really have to start taking advantage of living here and getting to explore around as best we can.
I’d been to Donegal only once before in 2011 while studying abroad in Galway, with around 10 girls who were on our study abroad program. We had a great time, but only went for a night and had a great time, but without a car we were limited to the small town we stayed in. So I was itching to get back to the county to see the highest sea cliffs in Europe and spend a little more time driving around the coast.
We drove off from Dublin on a Friday afternoon and drove the long (about four or so hours, that’s long for Ireland) trip to Donegal. We were staying at a cute B&B located a short walk from Muckross Head which is pictured above. It was pretty cold here and the wind was so intense, but with the evening light the place just shone.
Just before it started getting dark, we quickly drove over to the Slieve League Cliffs. It’s so difficult to tell the scale here, but these cliffs are gigantic. The drive up is pretty much a vertical incline the whole way. I could hardly get the cliffs to fit in my camera lens and this was only the base that you could climb up to the summit. The Cliffs of Moher get a lot of press in Ireland, but these ones in Donegal are seriously impressive. We spent some time walking around, then stopped for a pint in an extremely old pub (sure why not) and drove around for about two hours trying to find a place that was open for dinner.
The next day we woke up to a delicious Irish breakfast, but pouring down rain and intense wind. Not ideal weather to be driving up the coast, but we made the best of it and braved the stormy conditions anyway. We drove back to the cliffs (I was hoping to hike up to the summit, but we made it up such a small amount).
With a few destinations in mind, we decided just to drive along and see where we ended up as Donegal does have wonderful scenery along the way. Unfortunately as it’s not yet summer, a lot of places were closed or just really empty and a little sad. But we reached a beautiful waterfall, drove past brave souls preparing to hike the tallest peak in Donegal, met some cows roaming in the field, tried to take the perfect photo of Fanad Lighthouse (which sadly was under construction) and saw the most out of the way pubs you ever could see.
I can’t wait to come back here again, but I would wait until the summer months to get the best this county can offer. Hopefully next time we’ll get a little more sunshine and some greenery.